ABB boosts power transmission capacity in Texas


A key part of an SVC,Thyristor Switched Capacitors (TSCs) allow large blocks of capacitors to be switched quickly, responding to grid disturbances in real time.

ABB has installed and commissioned four Static Var Compensators (SVCs), as part of a $54 million turnkey project awarded by Electric Transmission Texas, LLC, one of the state’s leading transmission utilities in 2012.

The SVCs have been installed and commissioned in seven line segments and four switching stations that ETT has invested in as part of the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) project.

The Public Utility Commission of Texas initiated CREZ in 2008 in response to legislative action, with the aim of transmitting around 18,500 megawatts of wind power from West Texas and the Texas Panhandle to areas such as Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio. This major renewable energy transmission project has now been rolled out.

Power quality, reliability

“The installation of SVCs will reinforce the grid and improve the reliability and quality of power supplies in the region,” says Oleg Aleinikov, head of ABB’s Substations business, part of the company’s Power Systems division.

“As part of the U.S. climate change strategy, the SVCs will also contribute to increase the use of renewable energy in Texas,” Aleinikov said.

SVCs are part of ABB’s family of FACTS (Flexible Alternating Current Transmission Systems) technologies that allow more power to reach consumers through the existing transmission network.

This results in lower investment costs and shorter implementation times than the traditional alternative of building new power plants and transmission lines, with the additional benefit of minimizing environmental impact.

They also help address voltage and frequency stability issues and enable the transmission system to run more efficiently.

Global leader

ABB is a global leader in the growing field of FACTS, and has delivered more than 800 such installations across the world. Furthermore, the SVCs are not the only ABB technology to help increase the use of renewable energy within CREZ.

More than 30 362kV Station Service Voltage Transformers installed in Texas have helped eliminate the need for more than 900 miles of new distribution lines across the Lone Star State, Texas' nickname, saving some $30 million.

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